Today, successful leadership teams have to manage the expectations of all stakeholders, run and transform their business, at the same time as increasing capacity and working through systemic conflict driven by complex and interconnected global drivers. The major leadership challenges lie not in the parts but in the interconnections, interfaces and relationships. Leaders have to be “team leaders” first in order to manage cross-functional, diverse teams effectively, and this requires a dramatically different approach to the traditional hierarchy of executive management.

In their 2015 book Digital to the Core, Raskino and Walter state that “winning digital business will be a team sport”. With the digital revolution impacting every business function in every business, leaders are turning their attention to hoe to “fast-track” the performance of their team. The speed of performance of the team, across all sectors, has become critically important; leaders need the “magic” to happen sooner and are looking for ways to achieve this.

Highly agile teams of experts brought together to achieve a specific goal are the new currency in organisations. Faced with increasing levels of uncertainty and ambiguity these team members need to be able to draw on each other quickly and confidently, clear and committed to a common goal. For many organisations dealing with rapidly changing ambiguous environments, getting the maximum potential out of these fluid teams is a key differentiator and competitive advantage.

Teams transcend every area of endeavour from sport to politics, from science to the arts, but little is done past more traditional team development to focus on the team itself as a unit of production that requires investment and attention to function effectively.

Traditionally, early, one off interventions often proved successful in addressing one or two key elements if a team’s development and were generally focussed on the perceived dysfunctions of a team. The frustrations of this targeted one-off approach were experienced as a lack of “learning how to learn as a team”. This meant that as the situation, or the team, changed, the team was not able to adapt its behaviour, and so the benefits were not often sustained much past the high-energy, feel good intentions of the intervention.

The approach we take at The OCM is more holistic as we recognise the speed of change and the complexity of technology and the workplace has increased. We use a multidisciplinary approach, tailored to the specific and unique requirements of each team. For coaching to be considered team coaching, as opposed to group coaching or coaching in a “one to many” situation, the team must have a purpose or learning goal that is common to and shared by all the team members.

A definition of team coaching could therefore be said to be coaching a team to achieve a common goal through reflection and learning. Indeed, the identification, clarification and agreement of what a goal is, how its measured and how the team and its stakeholders will know when it has been achieved, are often one of the first roles of the team coach.

If you would like to learn more about our approach to Team Coaching, we run introductory CPD workshops throughout the year. We also a more comprehensive Team Coach Mentoring for Professional Practitioners development programme twice a year.


This copy was reproduced from Coaching & Mentoring: Practical Techniques for Developing Learning & Performance with permission from Kogan Page

Tagged in: CPD Workshops

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